Hatfield sheds fire: Owners ‘devastated’ after inferno destroys property

PUBLISHED: 14:10 26 June 2018 | UPDATED: 14:27 26 June 2018

The sheds following the fire. Picture: Chris Flanagan.

The sheds following the fire. Picture: Chris Flanagan.

Archant

Residents have described a fireball flying 50 metres into the air during a blaze that destroyed two sheds in Hatfield.

The fire in Hatfield's Birchwood Close. Picture: Hatfield Fire StationThe fire in Hatfield's Birchwood Close. Picture: Hatfield Fire Station

Crews from Hatfield, Welwyn Garden City and St Albans rushed to Birchwood Close at around 1am on Saturday, June 23, after a bonfire that wasn’t properly extinguished took hold.

One of the sheds’ owners told the WHT that during the blaze a gas canister exploded and launched the flames up the side of a nearby tree.

A Crawford Road resident, who owned the other shed, said: “It sent a fireball like I have never seen before up that tree. I have never experienced anything like it.

“The heat was just immense, and my little hanging lights have melted, it was just very scary.”

Witnesses said they saw a fireball fly up the side of the tree. Picture: Chris FlanaganWitnesses said they saw a fireball fly up the side of the tree. Picture: Chris Flanagan

She added she was “devastated” as many of the tools that melted had been passed down through generations, and several tomato, cucumber and strawberry plants were also left withering.

A Birchwood Close resident said that after seeing “an orange glow” through the blinds he spotted the fire and shot out with a hose while warning the neighbours.

Describing the gas canister explosion, he added: “It wasn’t so much of a ‘bang’, it was a ‘whoosh’ because of all the pressure that was released. It shot flames 40-50 metres into the air.”

Another local said: “I thought ‘oh my god, quick, phone the fire brigade’.

The fire in Hatfield's Birchwood Close. Picture: Hatfield Fire StationThe fire in Hatfield's Birchwood Close. Picture: Hatfield Fire Station

“First of all we saw a little flicker, but then it has gone up to the top of the tree.

“It was huge, really frightening, and then the gas canister went off and it [the fire] went ‘whoosh’.”

Numerous residents also praised the “brilliant” firefighters for how they tackled the blaze, during which no-one was injured.

A tweet from Hatfield Fire Station, relating to the incident, said: “Before having bonfires ensure it’s positioned well away from fences/bushes etc... give the surrounding area a wet down with your hose.

Some of the remains after the fire. Picture: Chris Flanagan.Some of the remains after the fire. Picture: Chris Flanagan.

“Only burn small amounts at a time otherwise you may end up like this.”

Some of the charred remains in one of the sheds. Picture: Chris Flanagan.Some of the charred remains in one of the sheds. Picture: Chris Flanagan.

The fire melted several other parts of the garden. Picture: Chris Flanagan.The fire melted several other parts of the garden. Picture: Chris Flanagan.

One of the sheds following with blaze. Picture: Chris Flanagan.One of the sheds following with blaze. Picture: Chris Flanagan.

The charred grass near the sheds. Picture: Chris FlanaganThe charred grass near the sheds. Picture: Chris Flanagan

The fire in Hatfield's Birchwood Close. Picture: Hatfield Fire StationThe fire in Hatfield's Birchwood Close. Picture: Hatfield Fire Station

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